This crowd favorite chicken tetrazzini makes a double portion of this Southern comfort dish that is easy, make ahead and freezer friendly.
Chicken Tetrazzini is the Ultimate Southern Comfort Dish
Chicken tetrazzini is a casserole with cooked spaghetti pasta, white meat chicken, buttery mushrooms, and cheddar & parmesan cheeses baked into the ultimate Southern comfort food. If you grew up in the South, you’ve surely had a version of this dish. Some folks refer to it as chicken spaghetti.
Chicken Tetrazzini Can Be Made With Canned Soup or Without
There are two versions of chicken tetrazzini in my recipe collection. This version, Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini, uses canned soup to make the sauce. My friend Sally’s Gourmet Chicken Tetrazzini has a homemade sauce (béchamel) that takes it truly over the top. I love this easy version (as does everyone who tries it), but when I want to go all out, I make the gourmet version.
Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini Makes 2 Casseroles
This recipe is perfect because it makes 2 standard size casseroles, making it easy to make one~freeze one. To prepare ahead for a party, I sometimes make this recipe and freeze both casseroles. I also love having a tetrazzini in the freezer to take to someone who might need a meal. This is a perfect “new mommy” dish.
Helpful Tools for Making Chicken Tetrazzini
A large bowl is a must-have for this recipe, as you’ll need it to mix all the ingredients together before filling the baking dishes. My fave is this Oxo 5-quart, as it doesn’t slip and is easy to clean. In the video, I am using a glass bowl, but it slid off the counter top and broke soon thereafter. So….I am using my white Oxo with the no slip bottom:-) Good baking dishes are imperative, and I link to some faves below.
How to Freeze Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini
If you want to cook this ahead and freeze for later, there are a few things that you’ll want to have on hand so that the tetrazzini will be properly wrapped and not get freezer burn. I almost always make tetrazzini several weeks before I plan to serve it, and it has never tasted one bit like it has been previously frozen.
- Cling Wrap I lay this wrap directly on top of the assembled (but not cooked) tetrazzini and tuck lightly into the corners of the pan. This is a good first layer to prevent ice from forming on the top.
- Freezer to Oven Baking Pans: I typically use aluminum casserole pans to make/freeze/bake this chicken tetrazzini. If I am having this for a nicer dinner party, however, I will make/freeze/bake the tetrazzini in my favorite freezer to oven to table bakeware. I link below to my favorites.
- Aluminum Foil- After pressing Cling Wrap onto the surface of the tetrazzini, I then seal the top of the casserole pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Ziploc Large and X-Large storage bags- These are optional, but I like using them to ensure no freezer burn, especially if I plan to freeze these for a few months. After sealing the pans with cling wrap and foil, I slide each of them into an extra large freezer bag.
- Adhesive Labels- I buy adhesive labels and write what the dish is and the date it was made/frozen. This is SO important. You need to know when you freeze something and what it is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a dish in the freezer and totally forgotten what is was LOL.
How to Cook Chicken Tetrazzini from Frozen
- Best results come from thawing frozen tetrazzini in the fridge a day or two before cooking.
- Remove cling wrap from tetrazzini; replace aluminum foil lightly on top of casserole(s).
- Bake covered at 300 degrees until heated through, roughly a couple of hours.
- The last half hour, remove foil and cook until tetrazzini is golden and bubbling at edges.
- Allow tetrazzini to rest for at least half an hour to firm up to the best consistency.
- If tetrazzini is frozen or partially frozen, allow longer cooking time.
What to serve alongside Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini
In the video below, I am making this Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini ahead and preparing for the freezer.
- 1 (12 oz) pkg. spaghetti pasta
- 1 (14.5) oz can chicken broth
- 4-5 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups sour cream
- one carton fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3 cups grated cheddar (I recommend sharp)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- freshly ground pepper
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook chicken (I roast at 400 covered for 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees F). Chop and set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms in butter until soft. Season with salt & pepper.
- Cook pasta 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain, toss with a small bit of extra virgin olive oil; set aside.
- Mix soups, sour cream and chicken broth until well blended.
- Stir mushrooms into the soup mixture.
- Add chicken, pasta, and cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined and evenly blended.
- Spray pans with Pam; spread tetrazzini in each pan.
- Sprinkle parmesan and paprika on top of each tetrazzini.
- DO AHEAD: If freezing, stop here and freeze before cooking. If cooking, go to next step.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until edges begin to bubble.
Serving Size1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 299 Total Fat 2g Carbohydrates 62g Protein 12g